logo

2011 Archived Messages


Click on the week you require.
To return to the main Archive index, click the button at the bottom of the page.
Links to all the Photos and other images accompanying the list messages can be found on the Images page.

MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

1—7 November

From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 15:35

Best source for this stuff at the moment appears to be http://www.hydroponic-supplies.co.uk/index.asp?functionSEARCH
offering 50 litre bags at 14.50 plus carriage. I am buying from them.

I m putting all my cattleyas into it at the moment, as they are getting too wet located below my ever growing number of smaller vandaceous orchids ( which hang up above them) and which are sprayed very frequently. I reckon that if they have their feet in water, then a bit of mist won t hurt.

I have been a bit quiet lately , rather pre-occupied with non-essentials , i.e. non-orchid matters, which however do seem to be important too.

Geoff

David Martin wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.

I looked at growing orchids in Hydroleca as you suggested but got side tracked by Geoff s article on Hydroponics. I have grown Epiphyllums in Hydroleca standing in half inch of feed water extremely successfully and use large Perlag or sponge rock with some orchids.
David

Roger Grier wrote: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.

Hello again David,

As your Daughter was interested in my growing orchids in stone chippings, may I suggest that she 'Google's something like......growing orchids in Hydraleca.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: JIM MATEOSKY
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 23:25

Geoff,

Interesting,here people use just punus stone ( it is light) and a little charcol, in platic pots with lots of "penny" sized wholes in the "oversized" pot.

Jim

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 08:35

Geoff,

If your Cattleya's are getting too wet where they are........why not move them???

And why use 'Hydroleca' as it is a water absorbent medium???

Granite chippings cost far less and do not hold moisture, only surface moisture.................the roots are designed to hold moisture, lots of it for a long time.

Rodge.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 09:45

'Hydroleca' is a water absorbent medium Wrong.

Hydroleca is a kiln fired ceramic ; it is not absorbent in fact the pebbles float ! The alternative generic description is baked clay pebbles .
Because the pebbles are between 8 and 15 mm in diameter, there are air spaces between them when filled into a pot. The surfaces of the pebbles ( only the surfaces) stay wet , due to capillary attraction from the water reservoir in which the pots will (or can) stand . But I don t mind if they do in fact fill with water the air spaces will still be there, and the wetted surfaces.

Rock chippings of any kind cost a variable amount according to where you live and the distance from the quarry/packing plant . Limestone pea gravel is dirt cheap in the Cotswolds, flint/gravel is dirt cheap in my Avon valley , Granite is cheap in North Wales...but try adding 50 ? per ton per ten miles...( a guess) . All of these have their own chemistry too , and would involve some juggling with pH ( all of the ones with calcium or lighter metal compounds are at least slowly soluble) but the killer is that all this stuff is much more variable in particle size however cheap it is . I don t want all the fines and smaller particles, they would fill up the air space

I have , many moons ago , collected alpine terrestrial plants ( not orchids) under licence, and used to establish them by planting in pure coarse silver sand, in pots standing in 1/2 inch of water. The same thing really, but that wouldn t work for epiphytes I think, and I m not going to kill a few plants to try it out.

Why not move them ? Where to ? I don t want to buy, install, heat, etc., a second greenhouse, when I can get all my plants in one, in two or more vertically spaced layers which is absolutely natural ! And anyway, my wife would either kill me or divorce me if I started on that tack.....

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:15

The whole question of composts around the world is quite interesting ; basically the stuff is too heavy to ship very far, so it always needs to be a local source. I have a friend who had an orchid nursery in Uk and used very conventional composts the same as most people in UK at the time ,e.g. pine bark mixes, then he went to Hawaii and used the lava/ash/cinders mix thrown out of the volcano.... I guess no pine trees in Hawaii !

In the far East they like growing plants in young unripe coco-nuts I know a dendrobium nursery in Bangkok growing cut flowers, who count it a good week when they can ship 3 tonnes of flowers ( my mind boggles at that ) and every plant grows in its own coconut....

Geoff

JIM MATEOSKY wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.

Geoff,

Interesting, here people use just punus stone ( it is light) and a little charcol, in platic pots with lots of "penny" sized wholes in the "oversized" pot.

Jim

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Alternative composts.
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:05

Weight is certainly a factor. I planted a Catt backbulb in granite
chippings and broken low fired pot chippings when Rodge first talked about
it. It has grown and flowered now but although a small pot the weight is
considerable, I couldnt imagine taking a medium sized plant or two to a
show potted in chippings.
I have just bought two dendrobiums from Thailand which are potted in a
very porous black stone, it bubbles when I plunge the basket, nice plants
growing well in it.
Regards, Alex

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Bark.
Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2011 10:00

Hi all,

I think it was Geoff who reported about the high cost of bark these days. And so it is no surprise to find that the whole world of orchid growers are going to have to find an alternative medium.

Many have already gone over to granite chippings/gravel/clay balls, and other non rotting, non decomposing mediums.

And bark will no longer be available anywhere......................and why......................well, if you look at logging, you will notice that trees are cut down by machines using the most modern methods where not only are they cut to length on site, but the bark is skimmed off at that point. No more bark!!!

Marks ans Spencer store yesterday.....................Phalaenopsis with TWO spikes....£6.00.

Cheers, Rodge.

And long may it rain. We need it for our wild orchids.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Bark.
Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2011 22:40

Also try Lidl not only phallys two for a few quid , but I don t want them. However, Oncidium Eric Young ( or something very much like it ) and also Onc Bob Cat decent plants, 5.99 each see piccy ( also showing a new variety of Bga nelly Moser I got last year from Italy Westland Wonder .

Geoff

Roger Grier wrote : [OrchidTalk] Bark.

Marks ans Spencer store yesterday.....................Phalaenopsis with TWO spikes.... 6.00.

From: "Geoff"
Date: Sun 06 Nov 2011 18:00:19 GMT
To:
Subject: [OrchidTalk] some pictures
Reply-To: Orchid Talk List

Oncidium Cynthia Hill , a primary hybrid between two of what we used to call odontoglossum species , wyattianum and cirrhosum , both of which can be seen in the hybrid for those who know their odonts. . Flower 6-7 cm in the N-S direction. Don't know how long they will last , it is a first flowering since acquiring in the Spring.

Ceratostylis retisquama ( aka C.rubra) − now surely my favourite orchid , why ? This is the fourth flush of flowers this year, and its so cheerful .
Grown hanging up with my vandaceous plants and getting the same treatment ( frequent sprays, rare dunks) although of course it isn't vandaceous − its actually in sub-tribe Erinii with the Erias .
I have discovered a source for another of the genus with cream flowers, but won't risk an air-mail parcel until after the winter in case it turns cold , and anyway there is nothing else to order from that source at present.
I have shown it before, maybe more than once − its difficult not to be enthusiastic about this little charmer − but under the former or otherwise wrong name of C.rubra.

Aerides odoratum . Now has three adventitious growths, and has two spikes on the original growth, two on a first of the keikis, one on a second, and none on the latest one.
I brought it into the house to photograph. and my wife asked me to keep it on the dining room table and throw out the pot of Chrysanths which a guest had brought ( which I did happily).
Several hours ;after she went in to lay the table for dinner, and found the room perfumed... Of course it is A. odoratum ! but I had not noticed any scent in the greenhouse.I was a little doubtful about the name here, since (a) the spikes are upright instead of drooping (b) the colour is solid instead of cream and pink spots etc., (c ) there are far too many flowers on the spikes and (d) they are a bit small ;but I am assured by growers in its native lands that this is within the normal variability of the plant, if a bit extreme. Have just joined Skype so that I can actually talk to those folk , and nearer ones too ! providing I can remember how to do it tomorrow...

Geoff

Geoff's latest pics on November 6th
https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid66cc6b7e29550ebd&pagebrowse&resid66CC6B7E29550EBD!203&tpe5&authkeyvgn2Pw!eYkA%24&BsrcPhotomail&BpubSDX.Photos

Top

Archive Index
Archive Index


©Orchid-Talk
email.gif - 2501 bytes